As many as 26 people died after 4 days of torrential downpours caused rivers to overflow and flood Jakarta. Most drowned or were electrocuted, officials said. Rescue authorities believe the flooding will leave tens of thousands people homeless.
There are 13 rivers running through Jakarta -- which experiences two seasons each year, dry and rainy, and is at or below sea level. Factors exacerbating the floods include garbage clogging drains, depletion of wells and deforestation in surrounding areas.
Flooding is common in the rainy season, and hundreds of thousands fled in 2007. This time, water reached record levels at sluice gates upstream from the city, the National Disaster Management Agency said. Power outages have also prevented water pumps from pushing water out of homes and streets.